What are the key messages about movement?
You should aim to do activities that involve all the major muscle groups and spread exercise evenly over 4 or 5 days or every day. Moderate intensity exercise should raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster and feel warmer and one way to tell if you're working at a moderate intensity is if you can still talk but not sing!
In addition to the resources here, you could try walking more, cycling or swimming or an exercise class or video or a combination of activities. Good examples of muscle strengthening activities include yoga, tai-chi or pilates, lifting weights or working with resistance bands, exercises using your own body weight or general activities like gardening or carrying shopping. If you find standing exercises and activities too difficult try alternatives such as exercising in water or chair based exercises or just using your upper body and arms, as anything you can do will be helpful.
Worried about pain?
It's ok to experience some mild to moderate joint pain when exercising or doing general activities. Taking your painkillers beforehand can be helpful. You're not training for the Olympics, just try to add some regular exercise that pushes you a bit and helps improve your general fitness into a regular routine as this can make a significant difference to the success of your operation and recovery.
What about other areas of lifestyle?
Smoking significantly increases your risk of serious complications such as poor wound healing, infection and blood clots, and increases the possibility of you needing further surgery.
Eating a healthy balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight is also important as being underweight or overweight or obese increases your risk of complications or poorer outcomes. It may be helpful to speak to a health coach at your local GP practice you can find NHS resources here.
Moderating alcohol intake is another important factor and it is recommended you adhere to the national guidelines of no more than 14 units per week, as excess alcohol intake is associated with post operative problems. As a basic guide a single measure of spirits is 1 unit, a pint of normal beer or lager 2 units and a medium to large glass of wine 2 to 3 units.
Feedback from our Trials
Here's some feedback received from patients, referred previously from the Orthopaedic Assessment Service in Somerset to participate in Fit for Surgery and Beyond exercise trials with SASP.